BENJAMIN H. RICHMAN is the Managing Partner of Edelson PC’s Chicago office. He handles plaintiffs’-side class and mass actions, helping communities harmed by pollutants, states, cities, and other regulators in investigations and litigation, student athletes suffering from the effects of concussions, employees in the workplace, and consumers who were sold deceptive products or had their privacy rights violated. Overall, Ben has been appointed by the federal and state courts to be Class or Lead Counsel in dozens of cases. His suits have recovered over a billion dollars for his clients.
Ben is one of the primary forces behind the development of the firm’s environmental practice. In the last year alone, Ben led a team representing hundreds of individuals across the country suffering from the effects of exposure to ethylene oxide emitted into the air in their communities, which included coordinating litigation across state and federal courts in various jurisdictions; was appointed to the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee overseeing the prosecution of the In re: Aqueous Film-Forming Foams Prods. Liability Litig., No. 18- mn-2873, MDL No. 2873 (D.S.C.) (which includes more than 500 cases against the largest chemical manufacturers in the world, among others); and was designated as a Panel Member on a State Attorney General’s Environmental Counsel Panel, which was formed to assist and represent the State in a wide range of environmental litigation.
Representative Environmental Actions:
- Brincks et al. v. Medline Indus., Inc., et al., No. 2020-L-008754 (Cir. Ct. Cook Cty., Ill.); Leslie v. Steris Isomedix Operations, Inc., et al., No. 20-cv-01654 (N.D. Ill.); Jackson v. 3M Company, et al., No. 19-cv-00522 (D.S.C.): Representing individuals suffering the ill- effects of ethylene oxide exposure—a gas commonly used in medical sterilization processes. Brought over 100 personal injury and wrongful death cases against EtO emitters across the country, as well as numerous medical monitoring class actions.
- In re: Aqueous Film-Forming Foams (AFFF) Prods. Liability Litig., 18-mn-2873-RMG, MDL No. 2873 (D.S.C.): Representing hundreds of individuals who have been exposed through their own drinking water and otherwise to PFAS and related “forever chemicals” used in various applications. This exposure has allegedly led to serious health issues, including cancer, as well as the devaluation of private property due to, among other things, the destruction of the water supply.
- Pickard v. USA, No. 19-1928L (Ct. Fed. Claims); Newkirk v. USA, No. 20- 628L (Ct. Fed. Claims): Representing property owners on Whidbey Island, Washington, whose homes sit directly in the flightpath of dozens of Navy fighter planes. The Navy is alleged to have significantly increased the number of these planes at the bases at issue, as well as the frequency of their flights, to the detriment of residents privacy and properties.
In his Government Enforcement practice, Ben represents State Attorneys General, counties, and cities in high-stakes litigation and investigations.
Representative Government Enforcement Actions:
- State of Idaho v. Purdue Pharma L.P., et al., No. CV01-19-10061 (Cir. Ct. Ada Cty., Idaho): Representing the State of Idaho in asserting claims against some of the largest pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors in the world related to the ongoing opioid epidemic, including in the MDL pending in the Northern District of Ohio.
- State of New Mexico, ex. rel. Hector Balderas v. Google, LLC, No. 20-cv-00143 (D.N.M): Representing the State of New Mexico in a case against Google for violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act by collecting data from children under the age of 13 through its G-Suite for Education products and services.
- District of Columbia v. Juul Labs, Inc., No. 2019 CA 07795 B (D.C. Super. Ct.): Representing the District of Columbia in a suit against e-cigarette giant Juul Labs, Inc. for alleged predatory and deceptive marketing.
- District of Columbia v. Facebook, Inc., No. 2018 CA 8715 B (D.C. Super. Ct.) and People of Illinois v. Facebook Inc., et al., No. 2018- CH-03868 (Cir. Ct. Cook Cty., Ill.): Representing the District of Columbia as well as the People of the State of Illinois (through the Cook County State’s Attorney) in lawsuits against the world’s largest social network, Facebook, and Cambridge Analytica—a London- based electioneering firm—for allegedly collecting (or allowing the collecting of) and misusing the private data of 50 million Facebook users.
- Representing labor unions and governmental entities in lawsuits against the drug manufacturers and distributors over the opioid crisis. See, e.g., City of Harvey, et al. v. Purdue Pharma L.P., No. 2018-CH-09020 (Cir. Ct. Cook Cty., Ill.); Int’l Union of Operating Eng’rs, Local 150, et al. v. Purdue Pharma L.P., et al., No. 2019-CH-01548 (Cir. Ct. Cook Cty., Ill.).
- City of Chicago and People of Illinois, ex rel. Kimberly M. Foxx, State’s Attorney of Cook County, Ill. v. Uber Technologies, Inc., No. 17-CH-15594 (Cir. Ct. Cook Cty., Ill.): Appointed Special Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of Chicago and Special Assistant State’s Attorney for Cook County, Illinois in their consolidated data breach/failure to notify lawsuit against Uber Technologies.
- People of Illinois, ex rel. Kimberly M. Foxx, State’s Attorney of Cook County, Ill. v. Facebook, Inc., et al., No. 18-cv-02667 (N.D. Ill.): Appointed Special Assistant State’s Attorney for Cook County, Illinois in their lawsuit against Facebook in the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal.
In his plaintiffs’-side class and mass action practice Ben has been appointed by the federal and state courts to be Class or Lead Counsel in dozens of cases. His suits have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for his clients.
Representative Plaintiffs’ Class and Mass Actions:
- In re: Nat’l Collegiate Athletic Ass’n Single School/Single Sport Concussion Litig., No. 16-cv-8727, MDL No. 2492 (N.D. Ill.): Part of team leading National Collegiate Athletic Association Student-Athlete Concussion Injury Litigation – Single Sport/Single School (Football) multi-district litigation, bringing personal injury lawsuits against the NCAA, its conferences, and its member institutions over concussion-related injuries.
- McCormick, et al. v. Adtalem Glob. Educ., Inc., et al., No. 2018-CH- 04872 (Cir. Ct. Cook Cty., Ill): Secured a $45 million settlement of claims against for-profit DeVry University related to its allegedly false reporting of job placement statistics.
- In re Facebook Biometric Info. Privacy Litig., 326 F.R.D. 535 (N.D. Cal. 2018): Part of a team appointed as lead counsel in a suit claiming Facebook violated the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act in collecting face templates.
- Bouzerand v. United States, No. 1:17-cv-01195-VJW (Ct. Fed. Claims): Representing Houston area homeowners in litigation against United States seeking recovery for alleged unconstitutional takings of their properties in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.
- Cole v. Gene by Gene, Ltd., No. 14-cv-00004-SLG (D. Alaska): Lead counsel in action involving claims that Alaskans’ genetic information and DNA analyses were unlawfully disclosed to third parties. Successfully defended Alaska’s Genetic Privacy Act from constitutional challenges in trial court and amendment in state legislature.
- Lead counsel in more than a half dozen class actions involving claims that companies violated state law by unlawfully collecting and storing consumer and employee biometric information.
- Part of team that litigated over a half dozen nationwide class actions involving claims of unauthorized charges on cellular telephones, which ultimately led to settlements collectively worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
- Lead counsel in over a half dozen nationwide class action settlements with software companies collectively worth $50 million involving claims of fraudulent marketing and unfair business practices.
- Thornton, et al. v. NCO Fin. Sys., Inc., No. 13-cv-0131 (S.D. Cal.): Lead counsel in case resulting in $8 million privacy settlement and defendant’s waiver of primary defenses as to claims not otherwise released by the settlement.
- Wright, et al. v. Nationstar Mortg., No. 14-cv-10457 (N.D. Ill.): Lead counsel in case resulting in $12 million privacy settlement.
- Hopwood v. Nuance Commc’ns, Inc., No. 13-cv-02132 (N.D. Cal.): Lead counsel in case resulting in $9 million privacy settlement, with individual payments to class members in excess of $10,000.
Ben also routinely represents technology and brick and mortar companies in a wide variety of general commercial litigation matters.
Representative Commercial Matters:
- Part of team that successfully defended multiple actions against largest medical marijuana producer in State of Illinois related to the issuance of its cultivation licenses.
- Part of team that successfully defended largest mortgage lender in Illinois on claims of unjust enrichment, securing dismissals or settlements that ultimately amounted to a fraction of typical defense costs such actions.
- Representing international energy company in disputes with former counsel and business partners.
- Representing investment bank in recovery of fees associated with private equity investments, capital raises, and other transactions.
Awards and Honors:
- Super Lawyers Rising Star 2015 – 2022
- Emerging Lawyers 2015 – 2018
- CALI Award – Contracts
- Certificate in Trial Advocacy
- Supreme Court of Illinois
- United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- United States Court of Federal Claims
- United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
- United States District Court for the District of Colorado
- United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan
- United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida
Ben received his J.D. from the University of Illinois Chicago School of Law, where he was an Executive Editor of the Law Review and earned a Certificate in Trial Advocacy. While in law school, Ben served as a judicial extern to the Honorable John W. Darrah of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Ben has routinely guest-lectured at various law schools on issues related to class actions, complex litigation and negotiation.
Ben grew up in New York and later, Alaska, where he graduated from high school. After his undergraduate studies in Colorado, Ben moved to Chicago for law school, where he now lives with his wife and three young children.